Water Crisis in Northern and Northeast Syria - Immediate Response and Funding Requirements Monthly Monitoring Report – October 2021

Situation Report
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With the launch of the Water Crisis Response Plan in September 2021, the following report sets out to monitor the response progress against sector targets as laid out in the plan, including informing on updates to context and needs trends over the course of the next six months (September 2021 – February 2022).

Since the launch of the plan, no new funding was received. The current funding gap remains US$200 million. The activities described and reported in the report were covered by available funding prior to the launch of this response plan or the reprogramming of existing resources.

Recent context and needs trends

The impact of water scarcity on people continues to be multifaceted. The agricultural production shock caused by limited irrigation water, high costs of agricultural inputs and harvesting, and limited access to quality seed have led to shortages in available food stocks and increase in food prices. The national average price of a standard reference food basket increased by seven percent in September alone, reaching SYP 186,319. Agriculture-based livelihoods are threatened, and trends of increased household vulnerabilities have been reported in the region. Lack of water continues to be a public health threat, particularly in last resort sites where water-borne diseases (Leishmaniosis, Typhoid Fever and actuate diarrhea) and infection trends remain high compared to 2020. In addition, COVID-19 cases have reached an all-time high in all response areas. The lack of water in the affected communities had a significant impact on people's adherence to the imposed and recommended COVID-19 precautionary measures.

As of October 2021, an acute water crisis continues to be witnessed by the population in northern and north-eastern Syria. Water levels of the Euphrates River remain low as limited and varying amounts of rainfall were recorded, severely impacting the assessed region of Deir-ez-Zor, Al-Hasakeh, Ar-Raqqa and northeastern Aleppo governorates, where multisectoral needs have been triggered by water scarcity for the past year. At Alouk Water Station, pumping has resumed in mid-September after weeks of complete disruption. A technical team was able to access the water station to conduct repairs and maintenance. At the end of reporting period, Alouk Water Station remained functional, with 22 of its 34 boreholes functioning. In northern Aleppo Governorate, operational costs of the Al-Bab water supply system have been partially secured till the end of 2021 although it will not cover the full system’s maintenance needs, the salary of the operators, and improvement to its functionality and sustainability.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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